The Town of Eastchester, which includes the incorporated villages of Bronxville and Tuckahoe, is about 5 miles south of White Plains and 20 miles north of New York City. Eastchester covers an area of 3.26 square miles.
Eastchester began settlement in 1664 when ten families migrated from Fairfield, Connecticut. Thomas Pell, who at that time also owned the territory that is now New Rochelle and Pelham granted a deed to the group to "settle down at Hutchinsons” where the home of Anne Hutchinson had stood some twenty years before. Another twenty-six shortly joined the ten original families.
Laws for the region were established the following year, in 1665, under an agreement called the "Eastchester Covenant." The covenant was a rare document for this period. It contained twenty-six provisions including items such as: education of children, disposition and upkeep of property, support of a minister, and more.
Governor Richard Nicolls granted confirmation of their 1664 patent in 1666 after the occupation of the area by the English. A controversy arose in 1700 when the settlers signed a deed with the Indians. The tract of land involved was known as "Long Reach" because of its odd geographical makeup. The sites included are the present Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and a section of Northwest Mt. Vernon. The dispute over the ownership of the land involved the towns of New Rochelle, Westchester and the Pell Family. When a decision was reached in favor of Eastchester, England's Queen Anne granted a second patent in the year 1708.
Eastchester was a farming community at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Although no major battles were fought here, as the heart of the Neutral Ground it saw constant fighting for over 13 years. Eastchester was harassed by both sides as well as by the cowboys and skinners.
Eastchester's rural makeup began to change with the coming of the railroad in the 1840's. Three hundred-seventy acres of land were incorporated at the village of Mt. Vernon in 1853 by a group of New York businessmen; the village of Bronxville was incorporated in 1898; and the village of Tuckahoe in 1903. Today, Eastchester is bound by Scarsdale on the north, New Rochelle on the east, Yonkers on the west, and Mt. Vernon on the south. The town covers approximately five square miles, including Bronxville and Tuckahoe.
Points of Interest:
Marble Capital of the World: In 1818 the town's first marble quarry was opened. The quarries produced heavily for almost a century. The extremely high quality of "Tuckahoe Marble" was in great demand and was used in many famous structures.
Red Bird Stage Line: Before the railroads, communication with New York City was primarily via stagecoach or private horse. One such line in the 1830's, the Red Bird ran between Grand Street (the Bowery) and Danbury, Conn. One of its stops was the Ward House, then known as "Marble Hall," with the fare from New York City at $2.00.
Ward House: Originally owned by the Stephen Ward family, it was sold in the 1800's to John Hayward who operated it as a tavern, "The Marble Hall." In the 1830's he entertained President Martin Van Buren. During the Revolution it was the site of many skirmishes. Ward House is the most important Revolutionary site in Eastchester. "Dutch" Schultz the infamous gangster and bootlegger lived in the house across the street. There was a tunnel connecting both houses, which are now closed in.
Eastchester has had its share of champions. In 1928 the town was acclaimed "cradle of American golf." Eastchester residents who have won titles are: Will MacFarlane won the U.S. Open in 1925, defeating the legendary Bobby Jones; 1926 had Jess Sweetser winning the British Amateur Championship; 1928, Johnny Farrell won the U.S. Open, again Bobby Jones the victim; 1931, Tom Creavy won the P.G.A. title, defeating Denny Shute.
Home of The Treetures : The children’s national Treeture Environmental Education Program began here in Eastchester, New York, when Judith Hope Blau created her family of whimsical characters to educate children about the important role trees play in keeping our environment healthy. The small Magic Treeture Forest Nursery on California Road and Highland Avenue became the pilot nursery for many others in the country.
Many famous people, sites and more historical information are associated with Eastchester. Press the blue button for more on Eastchester History.